Today Joe Biden’s Congress had a critical hearing in which committee members spoke about a path to Universal Healthcare.
New Zealand and Australia have had Healthcare For All since the 1940s. Sweden, Iceland, and Norway got it in the 1950s. And both Canada and Japan had Healthcare For All by the 1970s. The United States of America is the only developed globally that doesn’t take care of its citizen’s health. Many countries that are less developed than us also have Universal Healthcare or single-payer health systems.
Very few counties still have a for-profit healthcare system like us. Some of those include Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Yemen.
- Healthcare costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy.
- An average of 18,314 citizens die every year without access to healthcare.
- Lack of health insurance in the U.S. costs society between $124 billion and $248 billion per year.
That’s why this hearing is so important.
The Republicans, throughout the hearing, lied, lied, and lied some more. They spoke about open borders, inflation, regulations, and government takeovers.
The Health Insurance Industry makes about $35 billion per year. Health insurance CEOs make an average of $20 million each year. And the health insurance lobby gives congresspeople $10 billion each election cycle. (Do you want to take a guess at which party benefits more?)
The committee brought up witness after witness who spoke of what healthcare in America is like. 40-year olds dying from high blood pressure because they can’t afford medication. 25-year olds being rejected from the organ transplant list if they can’t afford all of their doctor visits. And people who don’t seek medical treatment, even when the signs of cancer are there, because they can’t afford it.
The American Healthcare system is broken.
More of our GDP goes to healthcare than any other country, and healthcare spending accounts for about 20% of our GDP spending. Unfortunately, Americans also have a lower life expectancy than any other developed nation.
In comparison with other developed nations, America ranks last in access to healthcare, last in healthcare equity, last in administration efficiency, and last in healthcare outcomes.
The healthcare equity in America is so off that it affects Black and Indigenous Americans at rates only seen in some of the poorest countries. BIPOC have shorter lifespans, are twice as likely to die from treatable illnesses, and are more likely to die of cancer. All of these are because of a lack of access to care. This is what systematic racism looks like.
The pandemic revealed and exasperated the inequalities in our for-profit healthcare system. It has hit hardest on the disabled, poor, and people of color. According to testimony at this hearing, one in three Covid-19 deaths in America was because of gaps in our healthcare system.
Congresswoman Jayapal introduced HR1976 – Medicare For All.
Not only that, but she also has 121 co-sponsors on this bill. All Democrats, of course. Of the 13 Democratic Congresspeople from Texas, only five signed on to co-sponsor this bill.
The Medicare For All bill will save Americans trillions of dollars per year while raising the standard of healthcare in this country. Republicans will always vote against it because of their deep ties with big pharma and health insurance. The only way to ever make this a reality is for us to have a majority in the House, a super-majority in the Senate, and the White House. Until then, America will continue to lag behind the world in healthcare quality, life expectancy, and costs.
Remember this when you vote.